We all talk to ourselves. Most of us do this a lot of the time too. Its that little voice, our voice that is in our head. Its not the voice we use to talk to others, the external voice that has sound and can be heard by other people.
This is the voice we use silently, either consciously or unconsciously. The one that might seem to have a life of its own, chattering away in the background and foreground of our thoughts throughout the day. This is our internal voice.
Our internal voice is often know as our internal dialogue.
There are times and places where internal dialogue can be very useful. And for a significant majority of learning, doing, performing at our best, opening up and being present to the opportunities in life we really don’t need any ongoing internal dialogue at all.
I recall some years ago, a new student coming to my Kung Fu club. He was rather unskilled but made up for it by being very aggressive and attacking with little apparent control. He had trained at some other club in London and was ‘very advanced’ in his application.
My Sifu, My Kung Fu master watched him and said “you have to empty your cup first”.
Once in China a man came to the Kung Fu school and talked about how much he knew. How to apply each technique, the benefits of this stance over that stance. The Master asked if he wanted tea. Yes he replied. The master began to pour tea into a cup for the visitor.
The visitor continued talking about his skills and the Master continued to pour. Eventually the visitor realised the Master was continuing to pour and the cup has been overflowing for some time. I think you have made a mistake and have poured tea all over, the visitor said. The Master continued to pour as the visitor continue to talk and talk.
I say said the visitor, looking at the spreading pool of tea, don’t you realise the cup is way over full. Yes said the Master. To begin here you have to empty your cup first.
The visitor to my club, his aggressive style, I think made some people not want to train with him, others somewhat reluctant to get a punch in the face and others still intimidated by him. In short he was very much stuck in one particular way of application.
When this man came to train with the senior Kung Fu brothers at the club he got a very rude awakening. The first time he applied his aggressive style it was redirected back at him with a lot more force. Needless to say he got walloped and then walloped again.
Nose bleeding, seriously winded and tears in his eyes he eventually got some part of the message. What he was doing could not work. There was no refinement or choice in his technique.
He chose not to return to the club.
One of the most profound ways I know to really relax and let go of every day thoughts, worries and stresses is a simple breathing meditation. The purpose of this meditation is to still the mind. To stop the internal dialogue, to find a place of profound peace.
Now. The first time you try this I practically can guarantee that it wont be as easy as you think. I can practically guarantee after just a few seconds your internal dialogue will start up and you will catch yourself chattering away in your head. That’s OK its part of learning.
I learned this particular meditation from a Deepak Chopra product some years ago. I continue to use it still as it is so simple and the effects continue to pay dividends. It is called the …
SO – HUM meditation.
Pick somewhere quite and comfortable to do this and do this sitting up.
Close your eyes and AS you breath in say to yourself with your internal dialogue SOOOooooo and then AS you breath out say to yourself with your internal dialogue Hummmmmmm. Repeat and focus on your breathing. That’s it.
The chances are your internal dialogue of words will start up, distract you from the process. That’s OK. Simply bring your attention back to your breathing. Focusing your internal dialogue so the sounds SOOOooooo Hummmmmmm SOOOooooo Hummmmmmm as you breath in and out.
What will I get by doing this?
Well I invite you to commit to doing this meditation for 10 minutes per day for one week and noticing what changes. You can increase the time from 10 to 20 minutes as you become more proficient in the meditation.
Before you start this. Take a moment to note down the level of stress, anxiety, worry etc in your life. Rate it out of 10. After one week of meditating rate those things again and look out for differences.
Of course you really do have to practice to feel the benefits. Make the time. The results are astounding. It is quite likely that most people who read this won’t do the exercise. They will talk themselves out of it, wont be able to make the time, any number of excuses.
Be one of the small percentage of people who will use this to find calm, tranquillity and clarity of thought.